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Surviving the Quarantine

Hi everyone! Wow, can things change fast! In the space of a week people have fallen ill, businesses have closed, schools are out indefinitely, the stores are empty, and everyone is going stir-crazy. And since it’s been a while since my last post, I figured today was an opportune moment to make one. So, here are some tips on surviving the quarantine from this previously home schooled introvert πŸ˜‰

Set a schedule.

While sleeping and watching Netflix all day may sound awesome at first, I promise you will be miserable if you keep it up too long. It’s ok to give yourself a dead day here and there, but even this bookworm needs more than reading for three weeks straight πŸ˜‰ Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eat at regular intervals, and give yourself a list of goals for each day. If you don’t accomplish them all, that’s fine. Just give it your best shot.

Stay active.

If you can still get outside, DO IT! Seriously, fresh air and sunshine do wonders. If you can’t leave the house, be creative. Have a dance party. Go old school with an aerobics video. (My mom did these when I was a kid and I seriously thought it was a great game πŸ˜› ) Awaken your inner child and play tag. Or stay low-key and walk laps around the house. No matter what you choose to do, make sure you are getting out of that chair several times a day.

Calm your mind.

With all the stress and panic flying around, you need time to decompress. Having a few productive goals for each day is great, but be sure to give yourself some downtime too. Put on soothing music. Color a picture. Read a book. Take a bath. Set aside some time to take a deep breath and just be.

Try a new hobby.

Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn, but never had the time for? Well, now’s the perfect time to start! Thanks to the magic of YouTube tutorials, I’ve taught myself many things over the years. Grab a pen and sketch the first thing that comes to mind. Try your hand at baking. The stores may be empty, but that baking isle hasn’t been touched. (I know, I’ve checked πŸ˜‰ ) Or maybe martial arts is more your style. You can always beat up on a pillow, right? Whatever that hidden dream is, don’t put it off any longer.

Check in on friends & family.

This is the age of technology! Why let it go to waste? Your extroverts are slowly dying inside and your introverts would like to say hi now and then. And this is a particularly bad time for those suffering from depression or other mental illness. Let them know they’re not forgotten! Video chat with your friends. Offer to do a food run for your grandparents or an elderly neighbor. Play a board game with your family. Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t still have community.

Ultimately, remember God is in control.

The one most important thing you can do right now is pray. Pray for the ill and at risk. Pray for those loosing their jobs, those without food or shelter. Pray for those in charge, that they will be given wisdom to make the right decisions. Pray for those working in the medical field, that they will stay safe and a cure will be found quickly. When you don’t know what to say, just pray. God already knows it all.

I know it feels like the world has gone mad and your life will never be the same, but hang in there. This has happened before and it will happen again, but I promise you it’s going to get better. If anyone needs prayer or encouragement, I’m only a comment away.

Guest Post: R.M. Archer

Today, I get the wonderful privilege to take part in R.M. Archer’s blog tour for her short story collection! R.M. Archer has been an avid reader since the time she could first make out words, and has always been a lover of story. That interest developed into a love of writing when she was seven (though those first attempts have long-since been incinerated), and she’s been pursuing a career as an author ever since. Archer combines her love for writing with a passion for her fellow youth and aims to write YA speculative fiction that shows teens that even their deepest-seated struggles can be overcome.

Caithan/Rahim Character Interview

Hello, Caithan! So nice to meet you.

It’s nice to meet you, too.

Let’s start with an easy, get to know you, question. What’s your favorite season and why?

Teraco doesn’t have much by way of seasons; at least not near Pruyid. Toward the beginning of dry season, though, there’s an international festival hosted in central Teraco that my meuma allows me to attend, so I suppose that would be my favorite time of year.

You visit Tramat quite often. What is your favorite thing to do there?

I love the music. *grins* There’s a group that plays just off the main street, and often I’ll sit and listen to them, or even dance.

Now, I know you’re not big on tradition, but there must be some you enjoy. Which Virilen tradition is your favorite and why?

Hm… Around the seventh full moon of the year, there’s a three-day festival to celebrate the introduction of music into the world. It’s taught that the world was originally lacking in any sound but speech, but the gods could hear the music of the stars, so the god Amak took compassion on man and introduced birdsong, waves crashing, wind through the trees… all the natural music of the world, which man adapted into music. The celebration isn’t as widespread in Pruyid as Meuma tells me it is in Virilia, but those of us who celebrate make music with whatever we can and appreciate the natural music of the world.

Ok, now I’ll give you a chance to rant. πŸ˜‰ Which is your least favorite tradition?

*rolls eyes* Ugh. The coming-of-age ceremony. There’s no purpose to it, unless you buy into the myth that Virilen adults are granted gifts–gifts I’ve never seen in any of my Virilen neighbors–and I have no interest in all of my relatives coming to see me just because I’m now an adult according to Virilen standards. Those standards are arbitrary, anyway; in Virilia you only have to be seventeen to be considered an adult, but the Virilens brought to Teraco had to be better than everyone else and raise it to twenty-five just to seem wiser. *snorts* Instead, it just makes those of us born in Teraco more miserable.

Your turn, Rahim! You know how this goes.

What is your favorite color and why?

Blue. Everything in Tramat is warm-toned and blends together, but blue stands out, and all you have to do is look up at the sky to see it. *smiles*

I take it you are a bit of a foodie. What is your favorite dish?

Hm… There are so many choices. *chuckles* But, if I had to choose… Naan topped with spicy sauce, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, olives… I could go on. You can pile a lot on naan, and it’s delicious.

What did you like best about your visit to Pruyid? Do you think you’ll visit again?

*looks up thoughtfully* Though I wouldn’t have guessed it… the people. I had meaningful conversations with many of the Virilen I met, and they were surprisingly welcoming of me. I learned a lot from my visit. I’d love to go back. *smiles*

And finally, as I asked Caithan this, I find it only fair to ask you. What is your favorite Tramati tradition and why?

I grew up not keeping a lot of traditions, though my friends did, so my favorite that I was able to participate in is the annual Dujalemin festival in central Teraco. People come from all over the continent to compete in athletic competitions, to show their wares, to simply see Teraco… If you enjoy crowds and excitement, it’s the place to be. My favorite of those I simply heard about was the tradition of children pooling their money to gift their mami a new dress on her birthday. I never had the money to carry on the tradition–and I had no siblings–but every year I wished I could.

That’s all we’ve got time for today. Are there any parting remarks you’d like to make?

Caithan: *shakes her head*

Rahim: Thank you for having us. *smiles*

Thank you so much for coming, it was a great pleasure to host you!

Want More?

The Book:

This collection features four stories from a range of select genres. Including Contemporary, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. Here’s a little info on each:

Silence:

Fiona Wildman was born with powers she doesn’t understand. Powers a scientific mega-corporation will stop at nothing to exploit.

Carnival Hearts:

Ethan is amazed when his withdrawn friend Jasmine invites him to the abandoned amusement park for fun, but instead of the slightly-wacky tour he expects, he finds the opportunity to see a different side of Jas.

Escape Room:

Four teens wake in a dark room. Faced with puzzles they must solve to escape, they uncover a sinister secret.

Caithan:

Caithan is tired of her mother’s strict traditionalism, but when she runs away from her own coming-of-age party, she runs into someone who teaches her to appreciate what she’s been given.

The new edition e-book is now open for pre-order here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083H33Y5C While the paperback will roll out tomorrow!

The Author

Not only is R.M. Archer a teen writer of fiction, she also keeps up a non-fiction blog of writing tips and book reviews. Find her online here:

Blog: https://rmarcher.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RysaArcher

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rysaarcher/

Introducing My Street Team!

Big news, friends! I have opened a street team! What is a street team, you ask? It’s a team of bookish individuals who enjoy an author’s work and are committed to sharing it with the world. In exchange, they get writing updates, exclusive content, and early access to things such as cover reveals and ARCs.

I’m specifically looking for women who enjoy YA Fantasy that’s a little less on the epic world-building (there is some, I promise!) and a little more on the complex character’s personal journey. If this sounds like you, please apply!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2528123980650089/?source_id=2350884835132463

Dust Cover Reveal

Today, I get to help reveal the cover of Dust by Kara Swanson! I’ve been waiting to read this since I met Kara several years ago and am so excited to be taking part in her special day! Dust is a Peter Pan retelling/sequel and the first installment of the Heirs of Neverland duology.

Blurb

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real-since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she new about Peter Pan-and herself.

Aditional Info

Dust will release from Enclave Publishing in July 2020 with a limited edition hardback. Preorders are open now at this link: http://bit.ly/HN-Dust

Adittionally, there is some awesome preorder goodies! To sign up, just submit a copy of your reciept here: https://form.jotform.com/200117693286153

Looking Back but Moving Forward

Happy 2020, everyone! I’m not too late for a New Year’s post, am I? πŸ˜‰

As we enter not only a new year but also a new decade, I’m looking back on my accomplishments… and I have to say, there’s a part of me that’s disappointed. There are so many things I had intended to do by now that never happened. I didn’t think I’d still be living at home, for one. But when I think about it, I’ve done several things I never thought I’d get the chance do to, either. So, instead of focusing on the negative, today I’m going to list my top three accomplishments from the past decade.

  1. I graduated both high school and college with honors. And made some amazing friends while I was there πŸ™‚ Hello, Suspects, I miss y’all!
  2. I joined a church that’s truly on fire for God and have attended the Italy mission trip twice!
  3. I not only wrote a book, but have gone to conference and pitched it. This is something I honestly thought I’d never do. I doubted my ability as a writer through most of my teen years and it has taken a lot of encouragement from dear friends for me to reach the place I’m at today. So Sven, Ivy, Amanda, and all my Realmies, if you are reading this, I just want to say a big thank you!
  4. And Bonus: I got my first story published!

Now, that’s a list I can be proud of! And one I’ve kept in mind as I determine my goals moving forward. There are all the usual New Year’s Resolutions, of course: be more active, eat healthier, finish that cross stitch I’ve had since I was ten… But my top three goals for the year are these:

  1. Move out. And I do have a few nebulous possibilities for this!
  2. Indie publish (aka. self-publish) To Slay a Curse. I know it will be a lot of work, but I just feel that’s the right path for me. And I can’t wait to start this adventure and share my work with the world!
  3. Build relationships. This includes staying in touch with old friends, strengthening friendships I’ve made since moving to Cape Girardeau, and stepping out of my comfort zone to meet new friends. It’s daunting, but will be worth it in the end!

So, tell me, what is your biggest accomplishment of the 2010’s (or just 2019)? What is your biggest goal moving into 2020?

I’m Back!

Wow, November has been a crazy month! Even with my social media hiatus I was completely overwhelmed. Part of me wants to take life hiatus and do nothing at all this December πŸ˜› But the rest of me really missed it. So I’ll probably just be on limited usage for a while πŸ˜‰

Why was I so overwhelmed? I’ll give you a quick run down of my month and a little look ahead at some great things coming up. To start, the main event!

NaNo

I had a lot of fun with my first attempt at NaNo! I joined the virtual write-in for my area once, but found I really work best alone. LOL! However, I checked in with friends a lot and motivated myself by posting fun updates when I hit milestones. As for finishing, if you just look at word count I didn’t do too well. I went in knowing it was highly unlikely I would make 50k. So, I mentally set a goal of 40 with a minimum of 20…and I hit just over 11.

Really, I’m ok with it. My brain very insistently switched tracks to research half way through the month, making it really hard to concentrate. But I still wrote more in a month than ever before and made solid progress on a new project! And hey, I know a lot more about indie publishing now πŸ˜‰

Personal Life

I’ve also had a lot going on in my personal life. First off, I had a birthday! I celebrated turning 26 with some of my very favorite things: A bonfire, Turkish food, reading, writing, and awesome people. We also had a great Thanksgiving with my Grandma. And wonderful news: I found out I’m getting published! More on that in at the end.

Unfortunately, not everything has been good news. My health went through a few major swings this month. Nothing too bad. I’ve just been really tired and it’s made productivity much harder.

There has also been some unpleasant stuff going on at work. Can’t say too much here. But essentially, my amazing boss had to resign suddenly due to a very serious health problem. Not only are we worried about her, but it has been very rough managing the workload. If you believe in prayer, I would ask that you pray for everyone involved as we try to figure our way through the rest of the school year.

So, it’s been a lot. But over all, things are truly looking up as we go into December and Christmas!

Looking Forward

As mentioned previously, I’m getting published! I found out a couple weeks ago that a story I submitted to Havok was accepted. For those who don’t know, Havok is a publisher of Speculative Flash Fiction (aka Sci-fi and Fantasy stories under 1,000 words). They post a free story to their website every day. And mine will be going up January 3! It will be my first published work and I am so incredibly excited!

In other news, I’m very seriously considering going indie for my books. As I have never had a business course, this really scares me. But I’ve been doing extensive research and my dad is an accountant. That’s got to count for something, right πŸ˜‰ My current goal is to get this all up and running by the end of 2020.

So, that’s been my whirlwind of a month! Whew, made me tired just writing about it. How was yours? Anything exciting happen? Is there any way I can pray for you as we close out the year? Drop a line in the comments below or send me a message!